Suggested Listening: The Final Countdown by Europe
Total Distance Cycled: 2378km
Port Aux Basque, NL to Stephenville Crossings, NL: 153km
“Waking up” – if that’s still at you call it after getting next to no sleep and nearly freezing to death took place when they made an announcement over the PA system that we were about an hour away from Newfoundland. I wanted to rest as long as possible as I knew riding 150+ kilometers today was going to be tough on little sleep. I think Shantel got more rest than me though since she was eager to make sure our bag was packed up and we were ready to go back to the bikes when able. Once it was time for us to depart the ferry we made a plan to find breakfast and reorganize our bags. A quick look on the map showed that there was a Subway on route not far away. As much as we both didn’t want Subway we agreed we would go here if we didn’t see anything else before it. After riding only a shirt bit we were both excited to see a Tim Hortons. While we’ve definitely had more than our fair share of Tim Hortons, we both would have chosen it over Subway had the line up not extended outside the door. Sigh, I guess Subway was our destiny after all. Unfortunately this sub wasn’t just an ordinary mediocre sub it was quite possibly the worst sub I’ve ever had in my life. It was drowning in so much mustard and BBQ sauce I had to use multiple napkins to try to get some of it off. Even then I couldn’t get it all. I ate it reluctantly, but can’t stress enough that it was a really awful experience. Shantel’s wrap on the other hand was perfect because Subways in Newfoundland include pineapple.
After my traumatic Subway experience we reorganized our bags. Since Newfoundland is half hour ahead of Nova Scotia it meant we were also starting our day that much later. It was pretty chilly so I opted to put on my waterproof pants, long sleeve shirt and rain jacket. In about 5km I was sweating and removed the jacket. 2km later the pants came off and then maybe a kilometer after that I took off my long sleeve and switched back into my cycling jersey for the rest of the day. It seemed like things went from cold to super hot very quickly, but that might have been all the hills heating me up.
Almost the entire ride today besides the tail end took place on the Trans Canada highway. Unlike in the past though riding on it today was actually pretty pleasant. For starters despite it being the highway the scenery was quite beautiful. There are so many trees and little lakes, streams and ponds here it seems. Road conditions were also pretty good which makes a big difference to me. We had a well paved wide shoulder for the vast majority of time and there wasn’t that much traffic on the road since it was a Sunday. Traffic was in fact so quiet that at times we felt comfortable and confident enough to ride side by side.There was a fair bit of up and downs throughout the day, but nothing too punishing. We stopped once at a gas station restaurant for some overpriced nachos and a huge plate of fries, and a slushy. Shantel felt weighed down after the meal, vowing that she’d never eat fries again! Whereas I felt it gave me energy. At some point before we stopped to eat, we stopped at a gas station where we shared a “Rockstar” energy drink. This led me to shout “Rockstar!!!” while trying to sprint up a hill. To any onlookers it probably looked completely ridiculous, but for Shantel and I it was my way of making up for having to drink that battery acid like beverage.
The sun was just getting low in the sky when we made it to our Air BnB in Stephenville Crossings. It was a cute bachelor’s unit within a house set up with its own entrance and everything you might need (including a television with Netflix). Once we were showered and had stretched a bit we went out to find food. Unfortunately because it was a Sunday pretty much everything in this small town was closed by the time we arrived so it meant dinner would be coming from the convenience store. Fortunately the one we went to had pasta and sauce so we could at least make something rather than just eat total junk. We bought mushrooms in a can thinking it’d be a healthy thing to add to our pasta, but one look and smell after opening suggested otherwise. We ended up tossing it. We picked up a couple of things for breakfast as well. Shantel took care of preparing dinner after we put in a load laundry and I spent time some writing. Once dinner was ready we watched an episode of Suits together. By this point we were both super exhausted after not having slept much so we called it a night.
Tomorrow we head to Deer Lake on what will be one of the shortest rides of the trip. We’re both looking forward to getting to the hotel where we will be able to soak in the hot tub and swim in the pool.